nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒02‒20
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Consumption Risk-sharing in Social Networks By Attila Ambrus; Markus Mobius; Adam Szeidl
  2. The use of social networks in recruiting processes from a firms perspective By Rebien, Martina
  3. Cooperation and diversity. An evolutionary approach By Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra
  4. The impact of work group cooperative climate on affective commitment and turnover intention of professional employees By Bogaert S.; Boone Ch.; Van Wittelosstuijn A.
  5. The impact of demographic distance and network ties on individual turnover of professional employees By Bogaert S.; Boone Ch.; Van Witteloostuijn A.
  6. Job recruitment networks and migration to cities in India By Vegard Iversen; Kunal Sen; Arjan Verschoor; Amaresh Dubey
  7. Corporate social responsibility: One size does not fit all. Collecting evidence from Europe By Argandoña, Antonio; von Weltzien Hoivik, Heidi
  8. Trust, discrimination and acculturation Experimental evidence on Asian international and Australian domestic university students By Daniel Ji; Pablo Guillen
  9. The Strength and Persistence of Entrepreneurial Cultures By Foreman-Peck, James; Zhou, Peng
  10. Well-being Inequality and Reference Groups: An Agenda for New Research By van Praag, Bernard M. S.
  11. Information and Corruption: The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India By Shylashri Shankar; Raghav Gaiha; Raghbendra Jha

  1. By: Attila Ambrus; Markus Mobius; Adam Szeidl
    Abstract: We develop a model of informal risk-sharing in social networks, where relationships between individuals can be used as social collateral to enforce insurance payments. We characterize incentive compatible risk-sharing arrangements and obtain two results. (1) The degree of informal insurance is governed by the expansiveness of the network, measured by the number of connections that groups of agents have with the rest of the community, relative to group size. Two-dimensional networks, where people have connections in multiple directions, are sufficiently expansive to allow very good risk-sharing. We show that social networks in Peruvian villages satisfy this dimensionality property; thus, our model can explain Townsend's (1994) puzzling observation that village communities often exhibit close to full insurance. (2) In second-best arrangements, agents organize in endogenous "risk-sharing islands" in the network, where shocks are shared fully within, but imperfectly across islands. As a result, network based risk-sharing is local: socially closer agents insure each other more.
    JEL: D02 D31 D70
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Rebien, Martina (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Sociological as well as economic research is interested in the role of social net-works in staffing processes. Empirical studies usually consider them as relevant from the job seekers' point of view. But there is only little knowledge of firms' per-spective on this issue. This paper contributes to decrease this research gap with results on base of repre-sentative data from the German Job Vacancy Survey for the years 2004 until 2008 with up to 9000 participating firms yearly. It is the goal of this paper, to characterize and structure firms that use social networks in staffing processes, using information not only about the firm itself, but also about the position that has been filled. The results show a tendency that networks help to reduce search costs and are especially useful in difficult economic situations. The positions filled via networks are more likely to be stable positions either in a very high labour market segment or in a very low one with rather difficult working conditions." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Personalbeschaffung, soziales Netzwerk, offene Stellen, Hochqualifizierte, Niedrigqualifizierte
    JEL: J23 J64
    Date: 2010–02–10
  3. By: Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra
    Abstract: n this paper we propose a pluralistic and multi-dimensional ap- proach to cooperation. Specifically, we seek to show that, in certain settings, less unconditional forms of cooperation may be combined with more gratuitous ones. Starting with the prisoner’s dilemma game, the evolution of cooperation is analyzed in the presence of different strate- gies, which represent the heterogeneity of the forms of cooperation in civil life. There are many behaviour patterns, though not all of them are based on self-interest and conditionality. The dynamics of coop- eration are studied through the use of evolutionary games applied in contexts that are either one-shot or repetitive. One of the most impor- tant results of the paper is the conclusion that cooperation is favoured by heterogeneity.
    Keywords: cooperation; Prisoner’s Dilemma; reciprocity; hetero- geneity; evolutionary game theory
    JEL: D64 C73 C72
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: Bogaert S.; Boone Ch.; Van Wittelosstuijn A.
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of work group cooperative climate on affective commitment and turnover intentions of professional employees, in interaction with climate strength (referring to the level of agreement among group members on what constitute important norms, values and goals within the group) and the individual’s social value orientation (referring to self- versus other-regarding preferences). In a sample of 209 academic employees of a Belgian university, we find that, independent of the content of a group’s climate, climate strength is an important determinant shaping employees’ attitudes toward the organization. In addition, in support of the goal transformation hypothesis, we find that a cooperative work group climate increases (decreases) affective commitment (turnover intention), but especially so for proselfs. Finally,our results also indicate that climate strength is more important in determining prosocials’affective commitment as compared to proselfs’.
    Date: 2009–12
  5. By: Bogaert S.; Boone Ch.; Van Witteloostuijn A.
    Abstract: Organizational demographers found that people who are demographically different from their colleagues, are most likely to leave. To explain this fact, demography and network ties are generally treated as equivalent. Critics claim that the use of demographics as a substitute for network ties is not justified, and called for research combining both approaches. The goal of this paper is to understand the subtleties of the turnover process, by simultaneously studying the impact of demographic position and network ties on turnover of professional employees. We test our hypotheses using event history analyses on a longitudinal dataset (1994-2004) of a mediumsized university faculty. Our findings indicate that demographic distance and strong external network ties have independent effects on turnover. We also found some support for interactions between demographic distance and network ties in determining individual turnover.
    Date: 2009–06
  6. By: Vegard Iversen (School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich); Kunal Sen (IDPM, University of Manchester); Arjan Verschoor (School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich); Amaresh Dubey (CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi`)
    Abstract: Economists have focused on job search and supply-side explanations for network effects in labour transactions. This paper develops and tests an alternative explanation for the high prevalence of network-based labour market entry in developing countries. In our theoretical framework, employers use employee networks as screening and incentive mechanisms to improve the quality of recruitment. Our framework suggests a negative relationship between network use and the skill intensity of jobs, a positive association between economic activity and network use and a negative relationship between network use and pro-labour legislation. Furthermore, social identity effects are expected to intensify compared to information-sharing and other network mechanisms. Using data from an all-India Employment Survey we implement a novel empirical strategy to test these relationships and find support for our demand-side explanation.
    Date: 2009–01
  7. By: Argandoña, Antonio (IESE Business School); von Weltzien Hoivik, Heidi (Norwegian School of Management)
    Abstract: This article serves as an introduction to the collection of papers in this monographic issue on "What the European tradition can teach about Corporate Social Responsibility" and presents the project's rationale and main hypotheses. We maintain that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an ethical concept, that demands for socially responsible actions have existed since before the Industrial Revolution and that companies have responded to them, especially in Europe, and that the content of CSR has evolved over time, depending on historical, cultural, political and socio-economic drivers and particular conditions in different countries and also at different points in time. Therefore, there is not - and probably cannot be - a single, precise definition of CSR: one global standard for CSR is unlikely.
    Keywords: Business ethics; corporate social responsibility; responsibility; welfare state;
    Date: 2009–11–07
  8. By: Daniel Ji (Federal Reserve Bank of Australia); Pablo Guillen (The University of Sydney)
    Abstract: Intercultural relations between Australia and Asia are pivotal to the economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. However, there appears to be tension between Australian domestic and Asian international students at universities in Australia. To measure the degree of trust and patterns of discrimination between these groups, the Berg, Dickhaut and McCabe (1995) trust game and a series of control games were used in framework where each participant played each game against several partners. Controlling for individual heterogeneity, domestic students significantly discriminated against international students in the trust game, and individual discrimination was preference-based rather than based on beliefs towards international students’ trustworthiness. Moreover, the degree of in-group favouritism shown by domestic students was negatively correlated with the Big Five personality trait of Openness. Intercultural patterns across the games also pointed to a willingness of international students to build relations with domestic students. However, the average amount that they sent in the trust game was negatively related with the number of semesters studied at university in Australia, which may partly reflect cultural adjustment but also institutional disadvantages faced specifically by international students. The study furthers understanding of the patterns of discrimi-nation between domestic and international university students, the nature of this discrimination, and illustrates the extent of challenges faced by the Australian tertiary education sector.
    Keywords: rust, discrimination, intercultural differences, economic experiments
    Date: 2010–01–01
  9. By: Foreman-Peck, James (Cardiff Business School); Zhou, Peng (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: Becoming an entrepreneur requires both motivation and opportunity. Motivation may be determined by collective experience or 'culture', as well as by personality. Whether a culture is conducive or harmful to entrepreneurship can only be established if the influence of institutions that determine opportunity is controlled. The twentieth century United States provides a natural experiment to measure the strength and persistence of entrepreneurial cultures. Assuming immigrants bear the cultures of their birth place, comparison of revealed entrepreneurial propensities of US immigrant groups in 1910 and 2000 will reflect these backgrounds. According to this test North-western Europe, where modern economic growth is widely held to have originated, did not host unusually strong entrepreneurial cultures, rather the reverse in the case for England. The most precocious and durable entrepreneurial cultures were exhibited by those originating from Greece, Turkey and Italy, together with Jews. Max Weber's identification of nineteenth century Catholic culture as inimical to economic development is not born out in the twentieth century by the sustained entrepreneurship of Cubans and Italians. A major cultural change over the century, that by the end had initiated widespread female entrepreneurship, also ensured that this trait systematically responded less strongly to the origin background than did male entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Culture; Migration
    JEL: D01 J15 J23 J61
    Date: 2009–12
  10. By: van Praag, Bernard M. S. (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In this paper it is argued that subjective well-being of the individual depends on two types of variables. The first type consists of characteristics of the individual himself, such as age, health, income, etc. The second type of variables consists of the characteristics of the individuals belonging to his reference group. The vast literature about happiness, quality of life, and well-being informs us extensively about the effects of objective variables. How the second type affects well-being is much less investigated. It is argued that the concept of well-being inequality cannot be properly defined without taking the referencing process into account. The reference effect depends on how frequently individuals compare with others and on the degree of social transparency in society. We attempt to give a structural embedding of the idea of reference groups in SWB-models. In this paper we employ the reference-extended model for incorporating in happiness studies the concept of inequality in happiness or SWB. Finally, we plead for an extension of the present happiness paradigm by setting up a new additional agenda for empirical research in order to get quantified knowledge about the referencing process. As a first step we suggest a new question module to be included in new survey questionnaires.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, happiness, inequality, reference group
    JEL: D31 D62 D63 I31
    Date: 2010–01
  11. By: Shylashri Shankar; Raghav Gaiha; Raghbendra Jha
    Abstract: The impact of information on corruption and effective implementation is Janus faced. In this paper we use household level data to address the issue of corruption in the NREG program in three states: Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. We discover that at the entry level, information about the NREG has the effect of increasing the entry of non-poor while the acutely poor, who possessed neither TVs nor cell-phones, nor attended public meetings nor were connected to social networks did not know and therefore did not participate in the program. At implementation level, information enabled those who possessed it to avoid being shortchanged by the administration. The non-poor benefited more from the NREG in all three states, and the ethnographic evidence from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra shows that the non-poor even misused the program. So, information has generated corruption on the part of some informed beneficiaries. Conversely, in areas where poorer and illiterate participants are in greater numbers, they are likely to experience more corruption from government officials during the implementation because they possess less information on the benefits accruing to a participant in the NREG. The picture from Rajasthan shows that, while the entry level capture by the non-poor is relatively low, compared to the other two states, the corruption at the level of implementation is higher. Here, lack of information on the part of the beneficiary reduces the monitoring potential and effective implementation and enables corruption. Social networking (and the access to information) increases the likelihood of participation by the affluent but decreases the likelihood of participation by non-affluent and the poor. This implies that the non-affluent are not able to act even if they have information. We need to explore this result further. The results from the three states back the rationale for the importance of a right to information and suggests that the government should invest more in advocacy campaigns about their programs, particularly in the poorest areas. At the same time, it is important to carry out periodic information drives among the beneficiaries to ensure that they are aware of the components of the scheme. However, while these measures may not stop the non-poor from benefiting at the expense of the poor, they might introduce better monitoring of the programs by the poor.
    Keywords: National Rural Employment Guarantee Program, Corruption, Information
    JEL: C51 D02 D63 D82
    Date: 2010

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